With advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) gaining momentum, teaching and learning needs to evolve rapidly. As educators, we must be prepared to adapt and embrace these changes to ensure our students are equipped for the ever-changing world they will enter.
Below, I discuss some of my assumptions, explore both conventional and unconventional answers to the future of teaching and learning, and suggest some guidance for educators to help navigate these exciting times.
As we navigate the future of teaching and learning, here are some of my main assumptions:
- GPT and other AI tools won’t replace good teachers, but they can significantly enhance our teaching when used collaboratively.
- The pace of change will continue to accelerate, so we should be prepared to adapt and learn new skills.
- We can’t compete with AI; instead, we need to embrace it and leverage its capabilities to increase our impact.
- The future of education is likely symbiotic, with humans and AI working together to create better learning and teaching experiences.
- There will be advantages to developing cross-disciplinary skills and being open to experimentation.
So… what are we going to do? Here are some of the more conventional answers that you’re likely to hear. AI has the potential to revolutionise education by:
- providing personalised learning experiences
- managing and analysing large amounts of student data
- offering 24/7 support through chatbots, and
- automating administrative tasks.
As always, it is important to remember that AI should be seen as a complement to human teachers, enhancing the learning experience rather than replacing it.
Some less conventional Answers
This may not be enough, however. To further improve the education system – scratch that… to survive, we may need to consider some more unconventional approaches, such as:
- Getting rid of grades and adopting alternative assessment methods.
- Gamifying learning to make it more engaging and fun.
- Emphasising failure as an essential part of the learning process.
- Teaching empathy and emotional intelligence as valuable soft skills.
- Embracing AI as co-teachers to augment and enhance the teaching experience.
Building Capability in the Education Workforce
And regardless of whether you’re looking for a more conventional approach or not, to successfully integrate AI into the education system, we need to invest in the following:
- Professional development programs that teach educators how to use AI and implement both conventional and more unconventional teaching methods.
- Technology infrastructure and resources to support AI integration in schools and tertiary education organisations.
- Collaborative learning communities for educators to share ideas and best practices.
- Recognition and incentives for educators who successfully implement new ideas.
- Change management strategies to support the transition to new teaching methods.
Some unconventional strategies here might include:
- Encouraging sabbaticals for teachers to gain new perspectives from other industries.
- Hiring teachers based on adaptability and willingness to learn, rather than just experience and credentials.
- Creating mentorship programs for experienced educators to guide new teachers in integrating AI and other technologies into their teaching practice.
- Fostering a culture of innovation and experimentation by encouraging teachers to try new teaching methods and technologies, even if they are unproven or unconventional.
- Developing training programs to teach educators how to instruct students in AI and other emerging technologies, preparing them for the jobs of the future.
Reflecting Cultural Values in AI
I’m not sure anyone is talking about this in Aotearoa NZ yet, but It’s crucial – the future of teaching and learning – to align AI technologies like GPT with cultural values, such as kaupapa Māori and Pasifika values, to ensure that the learning experiences we create are inclusive and relevant.
By doing so, we can develop AI tools that reflect the values that we know work with our learners. This includes whanaungatanga (relationships), manaakitanga (support), wairuatanga (spirituality), and aroha (compassion).
The future of teaching
The future of teaching and learning is exciting, with AI and the possibilities offered by some of the more unconventional approaches offering opportunities to enhance and transform education.
By embracing these changes, investing in professional development, and fostering a culture of innovation, education organisations and educators can ensure they are prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead.